Friday, July 31, 2009

Burn Me

I love Burn Notice. I was just saying to the boys how much better my life would be if I had good looking people with guns and plastic explosives on my side. Those hospital and nursing home people would straighten right up. And then they could start on my boss. The boys say that that world isn't the real world, but whatever! A girl can dream, right?
Anyway, there has been some knitting -- I finished an object, even.
I'm so-so about this sweater. It's Bad Penny from Knitty. I modified by using only one yarn, adding short row bust shaping, longer arms, and waist shaping. I love the mods, but they only went so far. I should have cast on fewer stitches (it's knit top-down) and done an increase after the ribbing for the neckline. My neck/shoulders aren't that much bigger around than someone w/ a 34" bust, but to get enough stitches for my size at the end of the raglan shaping (the distance from neck to underarm is about the same, too) I had to cast on waaaay too many stitches. It's ok at the beginning of the day when the yarn is still tight, but by the end of the day I'm like Carmen with my sweater drooping off one shoulder. Which surprisingly isn't all that attractive a look for me. Also, I've lost ~20 lbs since I started this sweater, so what was close fitting then is a little baggier now. Overall ok, but I may rip and re-knit over the winter for something better next summer. And today? For the first time in a long time I was too tired to knit, or spin, or do anything fibery. I'm watching TV and drinking beer. (Well, one beer and a couple fruity "malt beverages". I have a story about the beer.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birthday Link-Fest

It's that time of year again. Time to shop for your favorite forty-something fiberista (Apparently I'm all about the alliteration.) So here's a list of links to stuff I covet. So as to make the shopping easier on you all.

I love Etsy! Here are some of my favorite vendors:

KBShimmer One of my favorite indugences recently has been hand made soap. I am seriously lusting after some of these soaps (love the kaliedo-soap! And Caravan!)
Sparta Soap More handmade soap. I've bought from this seller, and was very happy. This is a local seller, too.

Jazz Turtle (love those batts)
Enchanted Knoll Love the sparkly batts and rovings (I've been looking out for Gold Dust Woman.)
TerraBellaSpun More batts
Butterfly Girl Designs Batts and spindles.
Zebisis Designs More batts and spindles.

Another recent find was varietal honey. I bought some from Bee Folks when I was in Maryland, and loved it! One of my fave "little indugences" is an afternoon cup of herbal tea with honey at work. (But I didn't care for killer bee honey.)

Knitterly Things is a favorite. I love all of Julia's fiber and yarn. (And it's really nice to get stuff from someone I know!)

Also, Amy King, aka Spunky Eclectic has a New Book (buy it from Amy at the link and she'll autograph it!) that I really want. And you know, you could order up some Custom Dyed Fiber while you're there. (For the uninitiated, choose the fiber here then state what colorway you want when you place the order. Yeah, I think it's a little clunky too, but I didn't design the website.)

A gift certificate to Bloomin Yarns wouldn't go amiss either.

A yogurt cheese maker. Homemade paneer! Yum!

And an an immersion blender. Soups and smoothies, here I come!

Whew! Enough choices for you all? I may update with more later.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

TdF Day Two

I wound off the bobbin from yesterday (this wheel has only one bobbin) and started spinning a fresh bobbin of the same fiber for today's installment of the Tour de Fleece. I split my 8 oz. of fiber into two lots and will put each one on a bobbin (the bobbin will hold 4 oz of fiber). The plan is to mix and match the six lots while plying to get a more even distribution of singles.

My other TdF project at the moment is this spindle project with some wool from a vendor I can't remember at MDS&W. They're in one of the barns at the very end closest to the sheep barns, and they have lots of baskets of loose fiber in lots of colors stacked up on the walls. Anyone?

Here's a picture of the whole lot of this fiber, -- I think I have 2 and a half pounds of it or so. It's a wool/mohair mix maybe 50/50? I should have enough of this to make a sweater for myself, if I ever get it all spun up. The spindle is a Bosworth in tulipwood.

TdF - Day One

ONE of my projects for TdF is to spin up this fiber:
purchased at MDS&W in 2006. I had 1.5 lbs of it, and this
is the end of the first 8 oz. I'll start the second today. I also spun some of the blue fiber I bought at the same time on the spindle I bought then too. (It's like a MDS&W 2006 reunion.) Actually, that's just the stash bin I happened to open. Yeah, my stash is stratified by years, so what? Anyways, this yarn is destined to become a 3 ply which I will knit into either a sweater or vest, depending on yardage.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

::sigh:: I'm not asking for life to be easy, just a little less hard. I ended up crying at my desk this afternoon at work. Not fun. Not much knitting going on. I forgot, until I downloaded the pictures from my camera that I'd met Ysolda Teague at Bloomin Yarns. She was very nice and charming and now I want to get all her patterns. As soon as I have some money I'm ordering Otto, Elijah, and Sophie. They were unbelievably cute in person. (Birthday alert! These patterns would make great gifts!)
Then at knitting last Friday Terri brought these cute balls stuffed with lavender -- they're for her mom who can't see very well, but she can hold them and feel the nice squishy wool and smell the lavender. What a great idea! I might make some for my dad, who has to exercise his hands for his OT.
And I also taught Janice to spin with a hand spindle. She was going like gangbusters using the park and draft method. Fiber by Spunky Eclectic in the colorway "Eclipse" -- it was a club color last summer. Romney, so super easy for a beginner to learn on.

And finally here's my Brown Penny. I've got the sleeves done. Mods to the pattern so far are longer sleeves, more room in the bust, some short rows for the girls, and some waist shaping. I'm hoping to finish this in the next week or so. Hopefully it fits. (It looks big, but I could just be underestimating my size, which I do frequently. I can always rip and re-knit.)